Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Public invited to workshop on improving land for plants and wildlife

Anyone interested in improving their land for the benefit of flora and fauna will not want to miss the third in the “Woods in Your Backyard” series of programs to be held in the State College area. Woods in Your Backyard: Seeing Your Land – Envisioning its Future will be held Saturday, August 29 from 8:30 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at Chicory Lane Farm in Spring Mills, Pa., and will include information, discussion, and tours of conservation and habitat improvement projects in old fields, woods, and wetlands.

Jim Finley, Ibberson Professor of Forest Resources Management and Director of the Center for Private Forests at Penn State, will frame the day's program by helping participants look at their land for the values they find important - why they own and love their land. Jim states, “Too often discussions between landowners and resource professionals start with objectives; that is, what do they want to do? How do they want to shape the land? These are complex questions and really secondary to understanding what is important to them about their land, how they use it, and what they want for tomorrow.” Jim's presentation will focus on helping landowners think about and articulate their relationship to the land.

The morning session will emphasize understanding your land by seeing key features of dierent areas. The afternoon session will focus on envisioning future possibilities through in-depth discussions with natural resource professionals from various agencies at different locations across the property. Relationships between plants and wildlife in the landscape will be illustrated and explained. This workshop will be conducted in a “walking-and-talking” instead of “sitting-and-listening” style.
The program is sponsored by Penn State Extension, Alliance for the Chesapeake Bay, and ClearWater Conservancy with additional support from: Center for Private Forests at Penn State, DCNR Bureau of Forestry, Centre County Conservation District, Wildlife Management Institute, Pennsylvania Game Commission, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service, USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service, and Penns Valley Conservation Association.

Topics include: Developing cool and warm-season grasslands, establishing  native wildflower meadows, identifying and controlling invasive plants, vernal pools and wetlands for wildlife, managing streamside and early successional habitats for wildlife, planting a new hardwood forest, landscaping with native plants, and tree and shrub identification.

The workshop uses the manual “The Woods in Your Backyard: Learning to Create and Enhance Natural Areas Around Your Home.” All participants will receive the full-color, 139-page manual. This self-directed
book will guide you through the process of developing and implementing projects to enhance your land’s natural resources.

There are two ways to register for this workshop:  Online with any major credit card by clicking here or call the Penn State Extension-Centre County office at 814-355-4897 to register over the phone. The fee for attending the workshop is $15 per person (includes lunch and educational materials). Pre-registration is required by Monday, August 24.  Space is limited so register early.

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